Why and how to teach education for sustainability

Teaching to heal the world

place-based learning“How can we improve the systems we’re a part of?”

That’s the question my team posed to our 4th- through 6th-grade students last spring at The Cornwall School, in Cornwall VT. It was the start of a deep dive into education for sustainability.

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For your STEM reading pleasure

Science Saturday, with Tarrant Institute research fellow Mark OlofsonThe traditional winter recess gives us time to rest and reflect. If you’re like me, it also grants time to read some pieces or click through some sites I had previously bookmarked. Here’s a few to help keep you occupied:

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Newton’s Laws, standards, and practices

Science Saturday, with Tarrant Institute research fellow Mark OlofsonHere at the Tarrant Institute, we have spent years focusing on the unique characteristics of young adolescent learners. Many of our values and practices are aligned with or adopted from the essential attributes and characteristics of effective middle grades education as outlined by the Association for Middle Level Education. Here in Vermont, we see many of these values being in line with the creation and implementation of Personalized Learning Plans (be on the lookout for some posts breaking down this alignment in the coming months). Now, in the science classroom we’re also working with the NGSS, and of course we’re aware of CCSS. And we hope that our work with technology is supporting student progress along the ISTE standards. With so many different considerations, it may be difficult to imagine how all these pieces might come together. Today, we’re going to think about how bringing these pieces together, using the example of a lesson around Newton’s Laws of Motion. Continue reading

Breaking Down the Next Generation Science Standards

Let’s talk about the Next Generation Science Standards for a little bit. There continues to be a lot of talk about standards and adoption, and it can be difficult when there may be different messages coming from different sources. 2013-2014 hopefully gave science teachers a chance to get exposed to NGSS and try some things out.

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